I’m a single mom with an eight-year-old daughter. We’ve been on our own for two years and have no family living in our city.
I’m still working, though from home now because of the coronavirus. My boss is very understanding and our at-home routine is working fine.
Over the past year, before the virus, my daughter made friends with a same-age boy in her class. He lives alone with his single mom who still must go to her workplace because her job there is considered essential.
She and I have become close friends, too.
With schools closed, she’s been dropping the boy at our place for his online classes, so he’s not home alone and she doesn’t have to involve a grandparent who’s in self-quarantine after being away.
The boy has also slept over here on occasions when his mom had to work late.
My problem is the gossip that’s been circulated about us - nasty judgments about us as moms, and shaming comments about our allowing the children to have contact during stay-home orders.
We’re women friends trying to do the best for our kids during a tough situation for everyone.
How do we handle these judgements and speculations?
Ignore them for as long as possible. With your children away from their school, there’s less chance of them being targeted by classmates repeating slurs they hear at home… and you’re less likely to bump into their gossipy parents.
However, if you, your friend and/or the children, do encounter direct comments, contact the school principal and, if necessary, the school board.
They should be involved in what’s essentially a form of bullying, since it draws negative attention to youngsters in their schools’ community.
Readers’ Commentary Regarding being hit on by a friend’s partner (March 31):
“Your Tip of The Day rightly said, “If a friend’s partner comes-on inappropriately, walk away.”
“The key word is “inappropriately,” and such men need to learn that their behaviour is not appropriate.
“Unfortunately, walking away without comment often encourages persistence - a strategy that, used often enough, gets results.
“It’s clearly still happening. However, having some familiarity with each other does not entitle men to women’s bodies.
“Sadly, familiarity underpins many unwanted sexual interactions.
“I now know that I must use direct language.
“But I didn’t always have a verbal strategy to deter the propositions by brothers/husbands/friends/fathers of friends.
“Nor for the employers, colleagues, tradesmen, etc. with whom there were varied degrees of familiarity, but for whom I had no sexual interest.
“If I’m wanting further contact with a man that’ll include sex, it won’t be necessary for him to guess or pester, I’ll make it clear.
“But me being polite or friendly isn’t code that I’m sexually available or am inviting a man to hit on me.
“Perhaps understanding those ideals is a big, new ask of men, but it’s long past time for them to recognize that women’s social cues are vital aspects of consent.
“Women should be encouraged to tell men when they’re out of line and men should be encouraged to accept that they’ve crossed that line.
“Try something as simple as, “I find your behaviour inappropriate and I’m not interested,” before walking away. It should provide closure.”
Reader #2 – “She should tell her friend immediately about her husband's behaviour.
“The trauma I experienced through my spouse's long betrayal is something nobody should have to experience. Betrayal is cruel, abusive.
“Tell the woman the truth, now. She deserves to know.”
I’m very afraid of the virus. I’m 61 and have worked hard since age 18. I married, had two daughters, four grandchildren. My husband, 64, stopped working, and we need to stay home until the danger period has passed.
We’ve saved some money and he can get unemployment insurance.
The problem is missing my children and grandchildren. Without visits, my cooking and special treats, how will they remember us?
Missing My Family
They want you safe and well. That’s why they can’t visit physically but they can connect with you - on FaceTime, Facebook, Zoom, etc.
Sit down to a virtual “family” meal together a couple of times weekly. Ask what they’re doing at online “school,” what music and games they like.
Share some of the many upbeat songs, videos, and fun TikTok routines online (the kids will teach you how to access them).
Anything that makes you smile will help you stay positive - so important to your well-being.
Tip of the day:
Nasty gossip affecting children is bullying. School officials must take action.